Print display advertising revenue for national UK newspapers has grown for the first time in more than seven years, according to a new report on ad expenditure.
Display ads in national titles saw revenue growth of 1 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, putting it at a total of £152.6m for the period.
The last time growth was recorded was in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The figures are published today by the Advertising Association and ad intelligence agency WARC.
The report shows that among popular national newspaper titles – such as the tabloids – print display advertising grew by 3 per cent year-on-year. But among quality national titles it was down 0.3 per cent year-on-year.
Overall UK ad spend has exceeded expectations in the first quarter of 2018, rising by 6 per cent on the same period last year – 1 per cent more than forecast – to £5.7bn.
The report found search advertising – such as ads that appear in Google search results – now account for almost £3 in every £10 spent on advertising in the UK – up 2 per cent over the last year. Spend on search advertising was said to have had grown consistently since 2001.
Radio advertising saw its strongest growth in four years, up 12.5 per cent.
Stephen Woodford, Advertising Association chief executive said: “Our latest advertising expenditure figures reflect the resilience of the wider UK economy, where consumer confidence is improved and the jobs market remains very strong.
“UK advertising continues to show steady growth with more businesses investing more spend in advertising.
“This investment boosts company profits and overall GDP, creates more jobs and helps our media sector to continue to invest in the creative content and technology that the public values.”
Ad spend growth forecasts have risen to 5 per cent for 2018 and 4.5 per cent for 2019. The report said this would result in investment of more than £24bn in 2018.
James McDonald, data editor at WARC, said: “The UK’s advertising market has now grown ahead of expectations in each of the last four quarters, and our projection for 2018 growth has been upgraded by a two percentage points since the start of the year on the back of sterling results across the media landscape.
“Online ad formats – particularly search and social media – continue to over perform, but traditional media are also proving their worth to advertisers.
“Notable among these are radio, TV, out of home and national newsbrands, with the latter carrying on from a good final quarter in 2017 to reverse a seven year downturn in display revenue.”
The total UK ad spend in 2017 was 22.19bn, up 5 per cent of the year before.
The Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report uses advertising expenditure gathered from across the media landscape.
Picture: Reuters/Phil Noble